This is based on my own story about how I lost more than 30 pounds, reduced 4 sizes in the waist and made my shoulders, legs, arms and pecs leaner and stronger. The clues you will see here are not the typical clues that you would find in any health magazine or from your certified physical trainer.
About 4 years ago, I was just tired. I was lacking the energy to work and was feeling exhausted at the end of the day. I was even waking up tired. Tired of buying bigger size clothes, tired when walking, tired of eating poorly, and tired of seeing everyone else in better conditions. I needed something else. I needed to learn something new in order to set the wheels in motion and move forward with my life. For my birthday, I gave myself two gifts: a new suit and a gym membership (despite my many previous failures at staying loyal to a workout routine). My previous experiences with gym training were very structured. I used routines used by bodybuilders and I had training partners – other male colleagues pumped with the desire to get bigger and leaner. I even hired a coach…twice. At the beginning, I did see some results, but only after few months I grew tired of it and gave up. This cycle repeated itself four to five times, each time leaving me in worse shape than before. I don’t actually know why, but at the end of each cycle, I noticed that I had gained weight. I must clarify: this was not muscle weight. This was the kind of weight you don’t want. This was of concern to me for obvious reasons, but also because I had fractured my right knee when I was 16 and then dislocated my left knee a year after. Keeping weight off of my knees was essential for me. So, you can see my motivation.
Given my previous experience with quitting after a couple of months, I knew I had to do things differently so I could, once and for all, keep the weight off, grow steadily and strengthen my legs.
Practicing meditation gave me the first clue: consistency. Yes consistency, more than intensity was the first clue to succeed. Meditation showed me that it is more important to do a little each day than to kill yourself with a workout every week. So, I would go and workout for as little as 15 or 20 minutes per session, but do it 4 to 5 days a week. During the remaining 2 days, I would practice active rest, which means at least a 30-45 minute walk (I will provide more clues on that later on).
I’ve been consistent for 5 years now. But the main reason for that was not the gym itself, which is the cheapest and offers the most outdated facilities I have ever seen. It wasn’t even the fact that I needed to keep the weight off of my knees, which at 40, it becomes a priority. The true difference was the fact that I trained with a woman and took group classes that were given by an extraordinary female trainer as well.
Today I can affirm that I feel in better shape than I have ever felt before. I am more agile, leaner, and stronger. I wasn’t only able to keep the weight off, but actually gain pounds in lean muscle. On top of that, I am more flexible and mentally focused.
Next week I will give you the details on what, exactly, I did. I will also describe the role these extraordinary women played in helping me to grow muscles like a man.